The Bible contains many stories about the mothers of important characters. One of my favorites is Hannah. Her story sets an example of faith for us all – men and women alike. In Hannah, we see a great illustration of what it means to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
The story is in 1 Samuel Chapter 1. For many years, Hannah desired to have a child, but she was barren. Her husband’s other wife had many children. Every year when they would visit the temple, the other wife would taunt her about being childless, and Hannah would end up in such despair that she couldn’t eat.
Finally, during one of these yearly visits, she got up from the table and went to the entrance of the temple, and cried out in anguish to the Lord, promising Him if He would enable her to conceive a male child, she would dedicate him to the temple to serve God for his entire life. While she was praying, Eli the Priest saw her. He thought she was drunk, but she explained she was pouring out her heart to the Lord. Eli didn’t ask what she was requesting, but he promised God would grant her petition.
Hannah thanked Eli, then “went on her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.” She immediately believed his word. Faith rose up in her. Her countenance changed and her appetite returned. She became happy, not when she found out she was pregnant, but when she believed the word Eli had spoken.
After she and her husband returned home, she conceived a child. She became the mother of Samuel, one of Israel’s greatest prophets. “For now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith means believing what God has said, and rejoicing, before we see the physical evidence.
Do you have an unanswered prayer? Think about how your actions would be different if you were truly expecting God to answer it. Incorporate some of those attitudes and behaviors now – before you see the answer.